Unfair competition lawyerFind out all there is to know about "fair" competition
Lawyer specialized in unfair competition
Unfair competition between companies can take many forms, and can give rise to disputes before the courts.
A competition lawyer can help you understand your rights and obligations.
What constitutes unfair competition?
These are unfair or deceptive commercial practices undertaken by a company to obtain advantages at the expense of one or more of its competitors.
Here are just a few examples:
- Deceptive or dishonest practices: for example, failing to communicate information that customers should be aware of (hidden charges, warranty conditions, certain contract clauses).
- The publication of defamatory comments (media or other on-line disparagement) by a retailer about one of his competitors.
- Misleading advertising: when a merchant spreads ambiguous or misleading information (dubious competition conditions, false promotions, etc.).
- Unfair pricing practices: when a retailer intentionally lowers prices to differentiate himself from the competition, then raises prices once he is the only one offering a particular service or merchandise.
- Customer misappropriation: when a company uses illicit means to misappropriate a competitor’s customers for its own benefit.
- Infringement of intellectual property rights: when a retailer uses a competitor’s patents, trademarks or logo to suggest that he or she is the author (parasitism).
- Commercial espionage: when, by various means, a merchant spies on a competitor’s production, pricing or marketing strategies, or has them spied on by a third party, with the aim of imitating them.
- Misleading reviews and comments: when a merchant publishes fictitious positive reviews or fake testimonials about a service or product in order to stand out from the competition.
When does unfair competition give rise to an injunction?
Where there is evidence of unfair competition, a complaint can be lodged with the courts by the person who feels he or she has been wronged.
At the same time, it can give rise to competition law disputes; in this case, a petition can be filed with the court to require the defendant to cease its unfair competition practices immediately; it can also be used to demand damages or reparations from the defendant, in favor of the plaintiff.
This procedure is considered a temporary preliminary one pending the final decision; if unfair competition is confirmed, it becomes permanent.
When should I consult a lawyer?
If you believe you have been harmed by unfair competition on the part of a third party, it would be wise to consult a lawyer specializing in this field.
If, for example, you live in Montreal, make an appointment with Sabbagh & Associé Inc. to simplify the process. Our firm will be able to guide you through the procedure to be undertaken (drafting the formal notice, gathering evidence, taking legal action…) and inform you of your rights and obligations.
Under article 1240 of the Civil Code of Quebec, “an action for unfair competition must be based on the principle of common law delictual liability“.
Because of the duty of loyalty to which a lawyer is subject, your lawyer will respect your confidential information and provide you with impartial legal advice.
If you think you’ve been the victim of unfair commercial practices, don’t hesitate to contact our law firm.